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The Language of Success

Book Description

Language is the medium of business. To be successful, we need to communicate effectively in writing. That’s true whether we are providing instructions to our colleagues, communicating with our customers, or advising our direct reports. We must be able to deliver clear, accurate messages that inform, persuade and motivate. Unfortunately, people lapse into habits that interfere with their ability to communicate. The Language of Success shows readers how to avoid these mistakes, and to write lucid, concise, and accurate e-mails, letters, performance appraisals, and presentations. Now anyone can master the lost art of clear writing and: eliminate ambiguities, jargon and grandiose claims • master proper paragraph structure so the message doesn’t get muddled • avoid wishy-washy or misleading terms like “world class” or “state of the art” • write clear concise sentences that follow the “first time right rule” • use e-mail professionally and efficiently • create career-enhancing reports Honest and authoritative, The Language of Success will gives readers practical techniques to help readers cut through the fluff, guff, geek, and hyperbole, write exceptional business documents, and get their message heard.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half title
  3. Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Dedication
  6. Contents
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Chapter 1 Introduction
    1. Where We’re Going and Why the Trip Is Worth Taking
    2. Igniting Firestorms
      1. Screaming in Print
    3. Living in the Midst of Revolution
    4. Eight Tips for Creating Successful E-Mail
    5. Moving Beyond the Mechanical
  9. Chapter 2 The Problem: How Fluff, Guff, Geek, and Weasel Ruin Your Writing
    1. Language: The Medium of Business
    2. The Language of Success
    3. Four Languages That Don’t Work
      1. Fluff
      2. Guff
      3. Geek
      4. Weasel
    4. Is Clear Writing a Lost Art?
  10. Chapter 3 The Principles: Modern Methods in Business Writing
    1. Write the Way You Speak
    2. Respect the Medium
    3. The Core Principles of the Language of Success
      1. Clarity
      2. Conciseness
      3. Correctness
      4. Suitability for the Audience
      5. Suitability for the Purpose
    4. Purposes and Patterns for the Whole Message
      1. Writing to Inform
      2. Writing to Evaluate
      3. Writing to Persuade
  11. Chapter 4 The Practice: Real-World Applications of the Language of Success
    1. Writing to Inform
      1. Simple Announcements
      2. Giving Instructions
      3. Answering Questions
      4. Project Updates and Summaries
      5. Clarifying Information
    2. Writing to Evaluate
      1. Comparison and Contrast
      2. Definition and Classification
      3. Offering an Informed Opinion
      4. Competitive Analysis
      5. Performance Appraisals
    3. Writing to Motivate
      1. Making a Request
      2. Instructing
      3. Reprimanding
      4. Communicating with Employees: Morale
      5. Communicating with Suppliers: Responsiveness
      6. Communicating with Customers: Loyalty
      7. Communicating with Investors: Commitment
      8. Communicating Bad News
    4. Writing to Persuade
      1. Cold Call Messages—Introducing Yourself and Your Company
      2. Setting a Meeting
      3. Following Up from a Meeting
      4. Announcing a New Product or Service
      5. Responding to a Request for Information
      6. Checking on Customer Satisfaction
      7. Nurture Messages
      8. Recommendations and Proposals
      9. Presenting a New Idea to Management or Colleagues
  12. Chapter 5 Your Potential
  13. Index
  14. About the Author